Newsstand

Ang reports that the current issue of Bust “features an almost-cute interview with Todd Oldham and Amy Sedaris.”

B: You never used (Todd) as, like, a shield when someone was trying to pick you up or something?

A: Oh yeah. Sometimes I get people who call me, and he calls them [and says], “What do you want!” and automatically his voice gets deep. It’s hilarious.

T: She has me and Paul (Dinello) to take care of her creepy fans.



Clinton talks tax

Former President Bill Clinton on the federal tax cuts:

The real reason for the tax cuts and their particular design in 2001 and 2003 was ideological, almost theological, the notion that we’re all just put upon by this onerous government of ours taking our hard earned money away and that there’s no such thing as a bad tax cut and no such thing as a good spending program unless it lays concrete or builds a missile. These tax cuts are too small in the short run to do any good and way too big in the long run to avoid serious harm.

(Via Donnie Boman.)



A manuscript rejection compendium

Someone named Gerard Jones has compiled a personal guide to U.S. literary agents.

The guide consists mostly of agents’ email addresses and form rejection letters, but also includes some correspondence in which the author abuses agents for failing to respond more promptly or enthusiastically, along with some more personal, considered rejections. (Another gem of a link from Emma.)



More on commercial women’s fiction in Britain

In “The Great Chick Lit Racket,” a shorter version of which appeared in the Independent last year, Scarlett Thomas notes that the British chick lit market is in decline, and asks what can be learned from its demise. She argues that the entire genre:

not only misrepresents women in its storylines but exists in a context in which many of its authors are little more than assembly-line workers. As one publisher put it, ‘The ideal commercial fiction author is someone who delivers one book and then goes on to keep writing, well, not exactly the same book again and again, but certainly one that’s very similar.’ Knowing how controversial these realities are, this publisher, like several I talked to for this piece, asked not to be named. The trouble is that no one wants to write production-line fiction, and many authors don’t realise that this is what they are going to be expected to do when they sign their ‘dream’ contract.

(Many thanks to Emma for the link.)



Writing and more

Here’s an excerpt from A Conversation Between Writers: Benjamin Rosenbaum and Aimee Bender:

BR: So you don’t start ever with a character? The characters emerge from the voice. . . .

AB: Characters emerge from voice, yes. So something does start with character, but it’s more, again, about the sentence itself, the way the words bump against each other and who it is comes from that.

Also discussed: fantasy and sci-fi, “show, don’t tell,” Jane Siberry, country music, and more. (Thanks to Stephany for the link.)



Illness

I was hoping to make it to see The Live Ones with Cowboy Sally tonight after my novel critique session, but I seem to have caught a cold from one of my weekend guests.

I’ve never seen the band before, but the Cowboy, as she herself says, doesn’t sing for Pepsi or shill for bands she doesn’t like. So you should probably go.

I will be on the couch, drinking herbal tea and wearing my ugly, red sick robe.